…yeez can take the boy out of Docklands Govan in Glasgow, but…

…another wee story from half a century ago, relating to my early months as a Trainee Master of the Financial Universe… as the youngest member of the staff at the Govan Cross Branch in Glasgow of the redoubtable Clydesdale & North of Scotland Bank Limited… my position translated as ‘principal dogsbody’, ‘prime-errands-runner-for-the-senior-colleagues’, ‘get-the coffees-in-organiser’, and ‘sum’time learner of the banking craft’… however, as I’ve mentioned before, the Bank Manager, dyed-in-the-wool,-bowler-hatted, pinstriped-pyjamas-wearer par excellence, Mister George Galloway was a joy to WURK with… no more especially than for my first ever Staff Christmas Dinner, paid for from the boss’s own wallet… now understand at the outset, the callow yoof, Master Gallacher, came from an ‘umble WURKING-class background, where ‘lunch’ was called ‘dinner’ and ‘dinner’ was called ‘tea’… comes then the ultra-posh evening dinner at the former Malmaison Restaurant in the city’s gourmands’ supreme hallowed ground in the Grand Central Hotel

…it was the first time this lad had ever been in any restaurant, let alone one as high-class as this one… an evening with the promise of multiple Faux Pas opportunities beckoned… and in that respect, it did not disappoint… Faux Pas #1… a gentleman called a sommelier (a wine buff, Mabel, a wine buff) whom I thought was the barman, asked each of us at the table ‘what kind of kind of aperitif Sir would like to start his meal’... this young Sir requested a pint of lager with lime… a far cry from the dainty glasses of hooch that arrived for each of my dining companions…

…Faux Pas #2… the hor d’oeuvres trolley was brought to the table… a veritable mountain of food on offer… unhappily, I didn’t understand that hor d’oeuvres are intended as small ‘starters’, and promptly loaded my plate with enuff grub to feed a legion… resulting in the ensuing main courses being merely nibbled at…

…Faux Pas #3… at a break in proceedings Mister Galloway and myself had repaired to the mens’ room for bit of a bladder-emptying (the pint of lager, remember?)… some lavatory attendant fellow began to brush down the back of Mister Galloway‘s jacket, then started on mine… I was resisting the urge to punch the man for his forwardness, but luckily the boss stepped in and slipped the guy a couple of shillings’ tip and ushered me back out into the restaurant and the relative safety of the dining table… the balance of the evening has lapsed into rather muddier recollection in the intervening 50 years or so, but I believe at least another pint of lager or more may well have been involved… it just proves yet again, yeez can take the boy out of Docklands Govan in Glasgow, but...

…I can assure the epicureans amongst yeez that I have never again asked for a pint of lager and lime as an aperitif… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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…come and join in the craic… this Sunday morning, June 4th in London…

..what?… get together with authors, readers, bloggers, pals… where?… Sloane street MILLENNIUM HOTEL, London… when ?… Sunday, June 4th… time?… 9.30am until whenever… coffee, tea, G and Ts (?), blether, and anything else emb’dy can think of?… also joining us …fellow crime thriller scribblers , Eric J Gates and David P. Perlmutter… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE OR RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!

 

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…the day it rained money… and we couldn’t laugh…

…I s’pose yeez would’ve had to be there… but I’ve been giggling away all morning at the memory of it… come with me, back more than 50 years… picture the young Master Gallacher, newly minted apprentice at the redoubtable Clydesdale & North of Scotland Bank Limited, Govan Cross Branch in Docklands Govan in Glasgow… the freshest Trainee Master of the Financial Universe... the personnel in the branch were great guys… the Manager, Mister George Galloway, the epitome of the pin-striped Scottish Banker, defender of his clients’ pennies and bawbees… bowler hat and constantly furled umbrella as much a part of his uniform as his distinguished manner of addressing staff and customers alike… his number two, nominally adorned with the title, the Bank Accountant, Mister William (call me Bill) Melvin, was a man with the detachable banker’s daily stiff white collar on his immaculately white shirts and regimental-style tie, and sparklingly polished shoes… now, sum’thing we junior members learned as Scottish banking yoofs was a practice called ‘cleaning the banknotes’… no, Mabel, not money-laundering, but the art of sorting the various denomination banknotes  into their proper bundles… y’see, back then, several banks in the UK were permitted to issue their own banknotes… we clerkies had to separate them into their respective banks, and denominations, facing them all the same way round and the same way up into bundles of 20 and then these bundles were packed into 25 of each of these, making a ‘brick’ of 500 notes… all of these were held together with rubber bands… on the day I recollect, Bill Melvin decided to show us young whippersnappers the expert way of counting, bundling and packing these while we stood around in amazement (supposedly) at his ‘note-cleaning’ genius… and it must be said, he was good… and fast… he ended up with one particular bundle of 500 pieces, strapped with the usual crossed rubber bands… it looked immaculately compact… he beamed with a superior look on his face… ‘that, gentlemen… that is how you pack notes’… and to prove his point he threw the bundle several feet into the air in the office… unhappily, as he waited for the package to descend, the rubber band broke, and the assorted money cascaded everywhere

…a downpour of  currency… it sped off into corners and shelves like fiduciary confetti… the astonishment and thunder that crossed his face was majestic to behold… but not for more than a nano-second, as all of the rest of us sped off onto the mens’ room, so as not to let Bill see our  joy, and hear our repressed squeals of laughter… so, to Bill, wherever he may be at this time… thanks for the mem’ry… the day it rained money and we couldn’t laugh… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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…a great new launch this week from my pal, Authoress, Angie Smith…

…my dear friend, Authoress, Angie Smith has a superb off’ring for yeez with her intriguing new crime masterpiece this week, The Spy Who Chipped The China Teacup… with a title like that, yeez just have to take a peek at it, and she gives yeez a wee glimpse into the WURKINGS of a scribbler’s brain when it comes to inspiration for yer masterpieces… here’s Angie:

Firstly I would like to thank Seumas Gallacher for allowing me to post on his superb blog.

Hi, I’m Angie Smith, and my latest release from Bloodhound Books is The Spy Who Chipped The China Teacup

So where did that come from?

The crumbling structure shelters beneath overgrown palm trees – what secrets did it hold? I paused, listening to the sound of the Indian Ocean crashing on the rocks. Adrenalin rush. My heartbeat fills my ears. Is someone trapped here? Or maybe held against their will, tied and captive in this dilapidated building? Are they still alive…? I need to find out.  I see a crack in the wood of the boarded up window, stand on tiptoes, but the soft, warm sand gives way and I’m whisked back into reality. I’m in Mozambique, out for a stroll and have stumbled across what would be an amazing location to use in one of my storylines. My imagination flips into overdrive!

As an author I’m often asked where I find inspiration for the storylines. Though I allude to other writers, films, or alternative media (TV etc.) it goes much deeper than that. It’s a complex mix of experience and imagination. And it all starts with a single scene. Yet, no-one knows where it’s going or how crucial that scene is. Not even me. Not yet anyway. I go where the writing takes me. Inside my head is a vast catalogue of encounters, experiences and locales ready to be called upon and enhanced.

Take for example my latest novel, which starts with an encounter at a South African waterhole. The very spot where I’d been standing a few weeks earlier with my guide and tracker. We were having a short break while out on a game drive. “Are you sure we are safe here, Craig?” I’d asked, staring at the high-powered rifle lying across the dashboard on the open-topped Land Rover. He’d reassured me, but then why did they carry the weapon? Surely they would never shoot the animals, not on a private game reserve. “Is it in case we encounter poachers?” I’d asked. At this point he’d laughed and explained that they had to carry it, but in reality it had never been used. “What would you do if we came across poachers?” He’d laughed again and replied that the protocol was to shoot first and ask questions later. His smile was mischievous, almost wicked. And that’s where it all began. That brief discussion triggered 98,000 words and a story that crosses four international time zones and involves illicit arms dealing, murder, and corruption at the highest level of government. A deadly game of bluff, double-bluff and triple-bluff.

So would you be an author? I never thought I would be, but once I started writing I was well and truly bitten by the bug! Now I’d encourage you to give it a go.

The buying links are here:

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0725LHQRR/

US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0725LHQRR/

..and some other useful links to m’Lady and her universe:

@cxviangie 
https://www.facebook.com/ Angie-Smith-Author- 329405637261363/

…thanks for this, m’Lady, Angie… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE OR RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!

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…be careful what yeez wish for, Authors… yeez might get it…

…the most perfect vision in the WURLD is hindsight… and this ol’ Jurassic has enuff ‘hind’ to spare… having bobbled around as an Author for almost a decade now, I realize there were several things I WISHED for… some materialized, others didn’t…  here’s a few thoughts I’d like to share on how these WURKED out (or didn’t!)

  1. …wishing I’d started my scribbling career 40 years earlier… then having the reality sink in… forty years earlier would have plonked me squarely in an age of no internet… of no web… of no SOSYAL NETWURKS… of no self-publishing on the universal scale available now on the likes of Auntie Amazon… and, I’d have been deprived of the identity I’ve sculpted for Master Gallacher on here as the ol’ Scots Jurassic writer… furthermore, and prob’ly most significantly of all, I would not have had the richness of experience thrown up by a career spanning three continents and five decades… the mem’ries of people, places, events, characters, ups and downs, would not yet have been in the mental treasure trove…
  2. …wishing I had a publisher… for a short period, I did have that luxury… but in truth it was a double-edged sword kinda benefit… I have no complaints or negativity about the good people whose author stable I joined… but it dawned on me after a year or so of that engagement, that there was a finite limit on the amount of publisher’s attention one single author could expect in a company of, say 100 authors… for some that WURKS… for me, with the ingrained self-publishing blood in my veins, it patently did not… and we parted company amicably…
  3. …wishing I had an agent… as with the dalliance with a publisher relationship, one such temporary liaison came along… but was even shorter-lived than the publishing link… for reasons driven again entirely by my own desire to be the ‘hands-on’ nutter that I am… and another friendly distancing occurred…

…now here’s the strangest thing of all… the one thing I did NOT wish for at the outset was to become an Author… and behold and lo, that’s what the ten-year writing gestation period has produced for me… the personal evolvement as a writer… and I’M LUVVIN IT!so, be careful what yeez wish for, Authors… yeez might get it… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE OR RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!

 

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…my books haven’t sold a million copies yet… so what?

…there’s a certain majesty in the relationship between authors and their readers that can only be appreciated by another writer… ten years ago, never in my wildest dreams did I think I would become pleased and comfortable to label myself as a scribbler… a producer of novels… a spinner of stories… a creator of mental pictures… the intention back then was merely to prove to myself that Master Gallacher was capable of writing a whole book… start, middle and end… a personal challenge of sorts, but one that I hadn’t realized was born several decades earlier with the desire to express myself in poems and stories… as a teenager, like untold numbers of us, I dabbled in angst-ridden verses against the WURLD in that way unique to every youngster who thinks he or she is the first one to feel the need to scream against his/her perceptions of the big bad universe…

…the sixties particularly was a time when the ‘flower power’ hippy scene burst onto the planet in a tsunami of rebellion… and it has never quite recovered from that… thankfully I, and millions like me, seem to have developed a broader view of humanity… but I digress… my writing urge had its genesis more than fifty years ago… hence my self-styled tag of ‘Jurassic Scots Scribbler’… but there’s NUTHIN Jurassic about the feeling of being a vibrant part of a global authors community that thrives on the ease of access to the internet and the SOSYAL NETWURKS… and the initial pipe dream of the bulk of newbies, the vision of selling a million copies of my literary masterpieces, has been replaced with a deep sense of gratitude for each and every single copy of any of my titles that readers honour me by downloaded and reading… the bonus is when they spend time to leave a review (of whatever rating!)… just LUVVIN IT!… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE OR RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!

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…Peter Ustinov… one of the greatest storytellers I’ve ever seen…

…I am convinced that true storytelling is an art… over the years, I’ve been privileged to witness many wonderful proponents of it… from the legendary Angus Macintyre in Mull in the Scottish Hebrides, whose wit and humanity captured the droll highlander’s knack of poking fun at any form of fabricated establishment… to pals in pubs and clubs around the planet whose ability to keep others laughing made for many an entertaining evening… to people like Billy Connolly, Peter Cook, Dave Allen, Ronnie Corbett,  and even further back, David Kossoff… all glorious exponents of spinning tales… but the best I’ve ever been privileged to listen to was the Master of them all… Peter Ustinov

…whatever other glorious talents the man possessed, none came close to his ability to conjure images in the minds of his audiences… over 25 years ago, he gave a one-man stage performance in Hong Kong where I lived and WURKED at the time as a Trainee Master of the Financial Universe… Peter held the stage, alone, for more than two hours… his uncanny knack of sounding like the characters in the stories he told was extraordinary… in one he adapted a slight, shibbolethic  whistle when pronouncing the letter ‘S’ which had the place in raptures… but the highlight for me that evening was the episode he told, supposedly true, and there’s no reason to disbelieve it, of when he was a children’s Ambassador for UNICEF… he was visiting a children’s home somewhere in Africa… he shared a story with the children about birds… he held the invisible birds in his outstretched hands and invited the  children to help him send them flying up into the sky… as he did so on stage, he simulated the action of throwing the birds up in the air and watching them wheel and soar… everyone in the theatre did exactly  what the children had done… we followed the flight of these invisible birds, winging around the rafters of the theatre… I was certainly spellbound by the man’s ability to draw all of us into the story… and stored that wee memory into my own reservoir of how I’d like to be able to tell my own stories… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE OR RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!

 

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